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Where Can I Buy Spider Lilies


Spider lily plants bloom in bold red, pink, white and even yellow shades with long, curling filaments. Also called magic lily and resurrection lily, pink lycoris are especially cold hardy and fragrant. Their bloom stalks pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, in mid to late summer, which is how they get their common names.




where can i buy spider lilies



Names: The Lycoris radiata has many names as you travel across the country. The names don't change the striking beauty of this fall blooming flower. Here in East Texas, we call it "red spider lily". It is red, and the stamens look like spider legs. Along the coast, it is often referred to as a "hurricane lily" because it often blooms after the first fall hurricane. Many people call this a "naked lady" because it blooms on a naked stalk. Farther north, they tend to call it a "schoolhouse" lily because it is blooming when school has started. Others simply call it a "surprise" lily because it shows up out of nowhere and surprises you one day with a flower. So the question becomes--which one is the right one? We'll let you decide.


How they bloom: We know that many of you already know that red spider lilies bloom differently than most flowers, but we want to put this here for our new customers. Now is a perfect time to plant red spider lilies. Perennial bulbs often need 6-12 months in the ground before they bloom so you are giving the red spider lilies that full year in the ground before they will pop up with a bloom on a naked stalk next September. Red spider lilies usually take 1-2 years planted before presenting foliage or blooms. Your bulbs are developing a strong root system right now to support future foliage and eventually blooms. You might see the foliage this January-April, but don't be concerned if you don't. Most people still expect to see something growing during the summer months. You won't see anything. These lilies are dormant in the summer. The flowers suddenly appear with the first later summer and early fall rains. One day there is nothing growing and then suddenly you have a surprise, a fully blooming flower! Red Spider lilies act very similarly to yellow spider lilies, schoolhouse lilies, and naked ladies. Simply put, they bloom in the fall and then have foliage for the winter. I have red spider lilies planted almost 2 years ago that have not yet produced blooms but have produced increasing foliage each year.


Foliage: Let's talk foliage for a moment. We know that we all want to see the beautiful unusual blooms in the fall, but the foliage is very important. The foliage is what allows the bulb to grow and multiply. Many people get very concerned if they don't see the red spider lily bloom the first year that they plant it and believe that maybe the bulb isn't any good. The foliage is what you watch for if you don't see your spider lily bloom, or even if you do. Below you will see a picture of the foliage of the red spider lily - it looks like grass. We took the picture on November 1st. The foliage has been popping out of the ground a little over the last couple of weeks, but now you can really see the stand. All of those different tufts of foliage are bulbs, and someday you will see a beautiful stand of red spider lilies here. In this area because of the super dry summer, not one red spider lily bloomed. However, you can see that the bulbs are growing. The foliage is up and ready to take in nutrients over the next several months while helping the bulbs grow, mature, and multiply. I know you will have to take our word for it, but there wasn't even 1/2 that much foliage there last year which shows you how quickly the bulbs multiply. The foliage will continue to grow. Even if it gets hit by a winter cold snap, it will have taken in nutrients for months! Always allow the foliage to die down naturally and don't cut it off. If you cut it, you are killing the bulb. Once the foliage is completely dead which is usually around the beginning of May, this area can be mowed. Remember, it takes a lot of energy for the bulb to push that bloom up out of the ground and open wide. The more time the bulbs can take in nutrients, the more energy they will have for that fall bloom.


Planting: The single most important thing about landscaping with red spider lilies is the sun. They need at least 1/2 day of WINTER sun. That means about 6-8 hours of sunlight during the winter months. If you look at the photo below, you will see that they are in the shade of the trees. You can be sure that most, if not all, of those trees, will lose their leaves in the winter when the greenery needs sunlight. The red spider lily puts on its foliage during the winter (January-May) and that is when it takes in the nutrients it needs to produce those bright red flowers the following September. The winter foliage soaks up sun energy during winter as it prepares for summer dormancy. The foliage normally completely dies down by around May.


Plant: Don't plant the bulb too deep. You really just need about 2-3" of soil above the bulb. You can plant 2-3 per hole to make the blooms look more natural. Red spider lilies really do well in any type of soil. Red spider lilies thrive in soil that has plenty of organic material mixed in but they do not require fertilizer. Newly planted bulbs would actually be harmed by exposure to fertilizer, so if you are going to apply nutrients, limit the application to established plants when the plants are producing their green leafy foliage during the winter. After planting the bulbs, water the soil thoroughly. Damp soil is ok, as long as the bulbs are in a spot where they will receive plenty of winter sun and the foliage is allowed to die down naturally in the spring. Standing water is not good. Once the summer season starts the red spider lily will do best in soil that dries out a bit, as this facilitates its entry into the dormant stage when its leaves die back. This period is followed by its blooming season when it will reward daily watering with long-lasting blooms. Too much moisture in the soil will lead to the bulbs rotting.


Multiplying and Dividing: The red spider lily multiplies with new bulb offsets quite readily. It also produces more bulbs and larger flowers than its modern counterpart from Japan. The absolute best time to divide the spider lilies is at the beginning of April, when the foliage has absorbed winter and early spring nutrients from the sun and the foliage dies back (turns a yellow-brown). Is this practical though? A much more practical answer on when to dig, divide, and transplant red spider lilies is a familiar answer: when you have time! Yes, you really should not dig them in late fall after they just started to put out roots and grow foliage, but you can if you need to (like if you are moving, or a road expansion project is going to wipe out an old house garden with generations of heirloom flower bulbs). No matter what time you transplant red spider lilies, whether it's the spring or fall, they often skip a year of bloom after being disrupted.


Still more bulbs to use with red spider lilies: There are an assortment of other perennial flower bulbs that go well with spider lilies. These are bulbs that will bloom during other seasons. Other Narcissus which bloom from January to March, as well as bulbs such as white iris, snowflakes, and rain lilies which carry the bulbs from winter through early spring. Other rain lilies, crinums, and Hymenocallis can then carry the bulb section of your garden through summer, and generally pair well with the other perennials.


In 1854 Commodore William Perry opened the ports to Japan aboard some of the U.S. Navy's first steam powered ships while under orders from President Millard Fillmore. Aboard one ship in the fleet was a certain Captain William Roberts, who had a keen eye for horticultural treasures. While in Japan, Captain Roberts acquired three bulbs of a plant with red spidery type blooms. His niece would later described the bulbs as being, "in such a dry condition that they did not show signs of life until the War between the States." These three bulbs survived and eventually thrived in their new North Carolina home before spreading across the Southern U.S.


One of the most widely adapted rain lilies in the South, this late summer/fall bloomer quickly clumps into impressive clusters of white star-shaped flowers. White rain lilies have white star shaped...


Once you have planted a red spider lily it requires little to no care and suffers from being relocated, so choosing the right spot is important. Unlike other spider lilies, they do best in partial shade, especially in areas noted for hot temperatures. The bulbs should be planted in late summer or early fall.


To plant red spider lily bulbs, dig holes that are the same size as the bulb itself and place the bulbs with the growing tip pointing up, no less than four inches apart. Fill in the hole around the bulb with dirt, leaving the neck just above the surface. In growing areas with cooler climates, covering the bulbs with an inch or two of mulch will help them survive the winter. After planting, water the soil thoroughly.


Immediately after being planted, red spider lily bulbs require watering, and after that they do best in moist soil that gets water about once a week. Once the summer season starts the red spider lily will do best in soil that dries out a bit, as this facilitates its entry into the dormant stage when its leaves die back. This period is followed by its blooming season when it will reward daily watering with long-lasting blooms. Too much moisture in the soil will lead to the bulbs rotting.


Red spider lilies thrive in soil that has plenty of organic material mixed in but they do not require fertilizer. Newly planted bulbs would actually be harmed by exposure to fertilizer, so if you are going to apply nutrients, limit the application to established plants when the plants are producing their green leafy foliage. 041b061a72


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